NPR's website featured an interview, yesterday, with Anne Midgette, the Washington Post's classical music critic. I discovered Ms. Midgette a few months ago when I began my foray into Twitterdom and became one of her followers. I was impressed by her ability to clearly state issues facing the classical musical world in twitter's famous 140-word miniature canvas. And from her twitter site I discovered her blog which is also fabulous. She asks great questions that I think anyone interested in classical music would find interesting whether music is their profession or their passion, or both. Needless to say, when I saw someone's tweet go by that there was an interview with Anne Midgette on the state of classical music, I immediately stopped my twittering and delved into the interview. In my opinion, it is fantastic and should be read by all. I especially love her concluding comments:
I hope we see a continuation of the kind of revitalization in terms of the venues and performances. I would love to see classical music be able to break out of its box a little bit. I think one of the biggest handicaps is still the traditional format -- the idea of getting dressed up and going to a place with red, plush seats. It's something I love sometimes and many people love sometimes, but there are ways to appreciate this music without doing that. And it's music that has the ability to speak to a lot of people who don't know they will like it because it's not put in a place where they want to go hear it.
In all of my recent brainstorming, this exact topic has been on my mind...trying to think up alternative venues and situations for offering music (I even dislike using the word "perform" sometimes - it sounds so highbrow). I was brought up going to concerts all the time so getting dressed up, going to concert halls, sitting in the dark and having to be quiet, all that is natural to me but why should it be natural to the majority of my friends that I went to high school with that weren't musicians? Why should they want to spend their free time and their hard-earned money going to classical music concerts?
So this is what reading Anne Midgette does to me...great, isn't it? Well, if you're in the mood for some good discussion yourself, read the rest of the interview yourself. And if you need some one to discuss it with, you know who's willing to talk ;-)